Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Bubble People

The people in the bubble sighed, "Why cannot we at times get along? Why do we fight over things - while some are important to each of us; some are insignificant? Why for one do we fight about what each of us should believe in? Why can't we just let it be and simply let live?

If one breathes out poison wouldn't that affect all in the bubble? A bubble is a bubble no matter how big or small. And we better work together lest we break this bubble.

And why not look for the third alternative - if we think harder, can we not find a better way? And why not learn to find the balance between reaching out and letting go? So thought the bubble people."

Being put in this bubble was a privilege! And they had to breathe, eat and drink within and could never be without it even for a moment. Why would the left hand try to hurt the right hand? Can the two hands not come together in service versus clash to make a resounding noise?

The bubble people realized that their differences were a strength - while the left hand and right hand appear a bit different, they complement each other, have equal importance and can work in unison! They realized they are interconnected through an invisible thread and the thread needs to be nurtured so it strengthens and does not strangle. By working with a spirit of understanding they can make it work. True there are going to be polarizing differences and people sometimes have to take sides. True there are going to be a few who try to cut the thread and perhaps need reprimanding; but if the collective will is towards building, it will be possible to live long and prosper - as long as they each have to stay in the bubble.

"Let's protect the bubble so the bubble will protect us. Let us strengthen and build bridges for our own good... let's do it right here, right now."- the realization spread throughout and the bubble people lived in peace with each other!

P.S. Here is a share-able image of this narrative - feel free to share it with others if you like it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Here’s to a great man!

June, 8, 2007

Great men lived in this earth,
I know of one,
He lived by his ways –
A simple high thinking life

Dedicating his life to service
To the best of best in all of us
He lived and breathed his life
The supreme in his mind

He stood and did not budge
Principles were his legs
He said what had to be said
To cover was not his way

His faith was supreme
So were his acts
An example of self control
For me and many more

Patience even in pain,
Perseverance at all times,
His mind dedicated to his acts,
Not caring for his body

His life was a life of light
His life was a blessing
Blessed I am for all time to come
To have been born as his Son

He lives in many hearts
As the heart of the Supreme Truth
And shines in a place
Of permanent peace and bliss!

Note: This is a poem dedicated to my Father Sri Kidambi Ramaswamy Srinivasan, who left his mortal coils to reach the supreme place in October 2006.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Even a small toy from a toy store comes with instructions. However, a child arrives with no such instructions as such. How should one live? What are our debts or obligations? This must have bothered humanity from the dawn of civilization. Ancient seers of India proposed three debts, which everyone should fulfill. Debt implies there is no way out of it. The three debts are:
  1. To the Devas (divinities that sustain our existence/mother nature), 
  2. To one's parents, and 
  3. To the learned. 
Debt to the Devas is fulfilled by doing some good deeds simply for goodness sake. Having a spirit of sacrifice, without expecting anything in return.

Debt to parents is fulfilled by raising or helping to raise a child. 

Debt to the learned is paid by making an effort to learn the contribution made by the learned.  All the know-how we take for granted is a product of people who toiled before us.

In pragmatic terms, it simply means that we be nice to the world we live in, help/ raise a child and learn something for leading life.

Credit: Credit for precisely re-writing the above words (modified a bit post his rewrite) once I sent him an initial writeup goes to Sri Koti Shreekrishna Tatachar.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reawakening to Real Harmony

This is a narrative of people who relearned harmony - A Re-Awakening from with-in. These musings of a dreamer could be a historic account fifty years from now! Dedicated to a land that was great in her ancient past, very wobbly in her recent past, improving but still a wobbly wheel at present but with a glimmer of hope in the future! Perhaps this story can be applied wholly or in part to any land or society you dream to apply these principles to…

Long ago there roamed on the earth a great set of people, who knew what it was to live in harmony. They knew that each was not the wheel but a cog of the wheel… and by turning together they turned the wheel. They lived with this understanding; no one felt the need to steal for no one knew what it meant. To steal would mean to take from the wheel and then the wheel would not turn; they each knew to do their part and accept what came as a result.

They were content and happy! They improved things and supported individuals who excelled too. They knew that such a society would thrive and be vibrant.

Alas a few hundred (may be a few thousand) years ago, some sort of disharmony set in! And many got lost trying to find their rhythm… they wasted their early years trying very many things and chasing paths that perhaps would not have been ideal; still looking back they could learn from it – but they knew that not. Unfortunately due to the inner weakness of some monarchs in the past, this land got invaded several times and suffered at the hands of ruthless invaders and then got taken by colonial powers. A hard won freedom followed by bad policies of the government in power such as a policy of appeasement made the so called freedom still a "freedom" only by name and not in spirit. In the recent past; people, who were provided with the opportunity to serve, started acting like it was their right to rule. They demanded things just because they held a seat. And the people who lived in harmony lost something… they lost a few gears on the giant wheel. The wheel wobbled. Each was “on their own”; each had to fend for themselves. In some ways, this made some realize they had to contribute individually for success and in a sense the competition geared them ahead.

The so called leaders of society continued their ways to enrich themselves based on their position of power. Not understanding that to serve was their duty and a privilege; they kept harassing common folk to pay up for services in forms other than the taxes and official fees the common folk already paid. Each day, living became a nightmare for many. At some point, this distorted way of living actually became the norm. 
Everyone looked for the one leader perhaps; the one who would sacrifice all and create harmony again. A few showed up – ripples of harmony showed its head up. Raising awareness amidst all that they could see the light at the end of the tunnel; with the hope that it was not another train headed their way! But the stink was too much for some perfume to do the deal… the odor could not be rectified by wiping a few places.

Many intellectuals were too busy in other ways, they knew the problems. They even knew the solutions and thankfully some of them spoke of these freely. But the will to act against the mislead leaders and to bring positive change was missing. “How to do it without getting affected ourselves?!”, so thought these intellectuals. Many business people tried to keep afloat – they too felt the brunt of the mislead leaders; but quietly paid the ransom demanded… to keep their game going. Some business people got in cohorts with the public officials and created an unhealthy symbiosis which was its very anti-thesis for the general population!

Things improved on some fronts, the bright industriousness of the people got them work from other lands. Some thrived, many still starved. The wheel was now turning back and forth. There were many good people who could do more perhaps, but some were too afraid to raise their voice, some too indifferent to care, and some were inure to this and felt a sense of hopelessness to fix the wobbly wheel – so they just wobbled along and found ways to “adjust” to the system! Most were so busy with their own life anyways, that they did not have time to even look at the plight of their fellow beings.

In a mysterious way, though the awareness kept increasing. People slowly started realizing that it is okay to enjoy the fruits of labor that one deservedly gets; and on the contrary it is not so fun to enjoy something that came to them undeserved. This seed of self respect started entering the minds of some people … and they started helping their fellow beings with a spirit of service and sacrifice. These were one-off kind of acts – random acts of kindness if you will. But these were the seeds of harmony. These were the unknown, unspoken harbingers of a future where life got to a kind of normalcy that was also exciting! They had a long way to go; lots of people still did not have the basic needs they needed, before they could think more lofty thoughts. But there was hope in some… hope that a collective consciousness will pervade in all to egg them on to the harmony that once prevailed. This was not an end; but the beginning of a new era – like the good old times, awake and alive!

A beginning so subtle that the “Naysayers” did not notice! New tools appeared that connected people; new ways to interact and freely share ideas. And people of this land and many such lands realized that all over the world people are similar in more ways than different. The walls that they had imagined were exactly that; they were walls of imagination! The world is one family which includes humans and all other life forms… it is an interdependent family. It is a fine balance of individuals working for a place in society while at the same time it is people teaming up to reach a common goal. It is the fabric of life – a yin and yang of sorts, it is tension and relaxation; each has to find the time and place to reach out or let go! People realized that an orchestra had to be played, by players who did not know they were the players. Each perhaps thought that someone else would pick up and play but each realized they had to play too! Such was the collective awareness that came onto people.

Schools and colleges were built; trade, business and dignified labor were encouraged. People were encouraged to choose a profession/ training based on their inherent talents and aptitude! Society found the balance between merit based competition and in cases of people struggling socially/ or economically providing need based opportunities for improvement.

Free thinking and sharing information without the fear of retribution started to surface... At least it started happening. Each person started trying to figure out what was the best way to live their life to the fullest. What was the best they could offer society. People started thinking of individual balance… some found ways to eat by doing dignified work, some found ways to mend their ways – yes, even the mislead leaders did! People found balance on both the material and spiritual dimensions; they learned to enjoy life here and now. To each person their pursuit of happiness became a journey willingly taken; pleasure or pain that came across became the events to be savored in the journey!

It took time and patience. It took compassionate sacrifice by many eventually (though it started as ideas in a few); and the refusal of the public to empower the mislead leaders. The common folk stopped paying “extra” to the officials; they started electing the leaders who deemed to serve and a positive spiral began. Not obvious at first but it began; it began as a thought in a few and then translated to deeds of small valor that translated to a sea of change in the end… it was not an easy journey as the ones who felt they were entitled for power, often felt the ones who elected them were powerless. So the common folk and those who spoke against corrupt entities had to face the brunt of their wrath. Bold thoughts were needed, strategies were needed and there was need for brave action!

Some (and then many) good people came up to stand for office and took upon themselves to serve the people. In the beginning it took one or two people with courage and wisdom to step up and contest in local elections; and they won. This gave confidence to many others and soon good, courageous, wise, honest and skilled people contested at all levels of Government with the sole goal to serve the public. People did not join politics for money – on the contrary they joined to serve others because they got an inner desire to create positive change.

Strong people joined the army to protect and defend the land and her people. People realized that though non-violence is the general rule of thumb, one should not hesitate to defend them-selves nor be unprepared in case they were attacked. The people of this land would never plunder or pillage… but if someone else tried to plunder them or pillage their villages and towns, the people of this land will fight the intruders to protect their lot. Like the blind man who held a lamp on his hand for others to see, the nation must maintain an army to protect and warn against attacks. The spirit is bigger than the mind, the mind is bigger than the body but when it comes to the world, while love for all is the noble aspiration but undue meekness could be detrimental. So the people of this land learned to never intend harm to others but always maintained an army for self defense.

Laws were passed to be fair and equitable; and the people lived with a sense of justice in a land of harmony again! Laws were also executed to maintain order and justice while respecting the individual freedoms of people. While people were free to follow any faith or no faith; no one was above the law. True secularism – one that respects religious freedom and at the same time plays no favor to any special group was the new norm! The people upholding the law did not feel the need to stoop to low levels of passing judgment based on favors of any sort nor would the law let those that did go unquestioned! As much as it is an individual value to not judge anyone, it is a collective need to ensure that people in judiciary positions themselves do not become corrupt. No more were laws just in the name of the letter and not in spirit… an evolution happened where the law was just and equable; the law was fair and open to positive modification (after due consideration) as human thought on an issue evolved and the greater good was always considered, discussed and enacted as law.

Harmony lost was gained back… harmoniously!

This story sounds too easy perhaps, too simplistic. Perhaps it looks like a dream to some and a day-dream to many. But if nothing else, better to dare to dream than just be dreadful. Better to live life standing for something and being awake.
When a person in a nightmare wakes up; it does not happen at once; they have to move a finger first! Then they can move their eye-lids!
Dreams can come true when thought is synchronized across many minds… thoughts become reality through practical acts of bravery small and big; by many.
Yes, it has happened before and can happen again! Is this history you want to read about years from now? Then build a consciousness of standing for a fair and just society, wherever you are! The ideas will come, fear will be overcome, the right action will be taken and harmony will be rediscovered!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On top of the pyramid ...

A little kid wanted to be famous!
"I want the whole school to see me" - he said to himself!

In his school, they were planning to do a talent show. Each kid was asked to consider volunteering in a show or performance. Some chose to dance, some to debate, some to run, some to act, some to sing and so on. The sports teacher also said there will be a pyramid show. "I need several of you to try out", she said. She picked many kids; some for the base, some for the struts and some for the top and picked the little kid to be at the very top!

The little kid was elated... dream come true indeed!

"I am going to be on top of the world", the little kid thought. While practicing with school mates... the little kid used to joke as to how far a sight it was from the top!

The day of the show came - the kids performed various activities - some danced, some sang, some showed their strength, some their grace, some their speed, some their gifts in acting and speaking and so on. Towards the end they announced that "the pyramid" would be performed.

In an orderly fashion the kids took their positions. Arms locked like steel that only cherubic but sincere hands could manage; legs in tight stance, focus and concentration - the kids did great to form the base, the struts and the top. Then the little kid climbed on to the top - he was supposed to stand on top and salute. As he climbed and then stood on top and saw the many others looking, he was filled with a sense of pride. And felt twenty feet tall!

A small gust of wind blew and one of the kids in the base shivered a bit. Needless to say, the foundation shook a bit and the small shock rippled up as each kid moved just a bit.

The little kid on top, felt it too. Rather he was shaken from his reverie! A moment of tumultuous revelation that he was not really twenty feet tall, and that he owed much of his view from the top to the ones below! That he was given the opportunity and privilege to go on to the top. He shook, almost fell, salute forgotten! He almost cried out loud but through sheer luck and perhaps due to the fortitude of his fellow school mates who stemmed the ripple and now stood their ground steadily, the little kid managed to stand on top.

He felt twenty feet tall no more, he felt humility, a feeling of knowing how interconnected he was with his friends; a feeling of thankfulness to them for holding the fort! A feeling of joy and relief, that swept his tear away.

Slowly and dreamily, yet fully aware of his greatest life lesson, and quite oblivious to the cheers on the sidelines, he raised his hand in salute!

P.S. Habits die heard and lessons sometimes get forgotten. Hence perhaps the need for self affirmations...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Here’s to all mothers!

She took the kick and smiled,
and wondered if your tiny feet got hurt!
She slowly caressed you and sang you a lullaby,
Even before you were born!

She was the first protector,
When you wailed first – she was your solace,
When you were hungry – she was your source,
She gave her life force to you.

Then you grew up,
She nourished you, cherished you;
And made you feel great –
Patience personified!

One day a year is not sufficient to thank her,
for making a home for you for those 10 months
and then making her home yours for long after;
may you remember her forever!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tips from your fingers!

Nature makes you ponder and wonder!
To see the way life works, just look at your hand...
Five fingers - all different; in fact one opposable thumb.
It is said human tools advanced due to the "opposable" thumb!
Five fingers though not the same - work together;
To hold an egg gently or to crush it is but choice!
To build something or break is but choice...
Five can come together and build... yes, they can.
Ponder, wonder and believe;
then the world of conundrums will make sense!